Choosing a company to drive for can be a little difficult. On the outside, a lot of trucking companies appear to be the same. We all use the same highways, pay a standardized rate per mile, and operate under the same laws.
If you’re new to the trucking industry you may think that all trucking companies are the same, so it doesn’t matter where you work. If you’ve been in the industry for a couple of years or have worked for a few different companies, you’ll know that choosing the right company can mean a world of difference to your career and lifestyle.
Do Your Homework
Researching a company before you apply can help you narrow down the list. A lot can be learned before you even talk with a recruiter from a company.
One of the most visible differences between companies is the type of freight they haul. You can tell this just by looking at a company’s equipment. Is the yard full of dry vans, flatbeds, reefers, or tankers? The job varies with different freight, so you’ll want to know what you’d like to haul before picking a company to haul for.
Check out your prospects online. Gathering information from a company’s website and social media feeds can give you a feel for the company. Many companies have their basic information on their websites, so you’ll quickly be able to get information on home time, types of freight, the rate of pay, incentives/bonuses paid to drivers and so on. This research should allow you to narrow your list down even further. Take notes and make a list of questions you would like to have answered.
See if you can speak with drivers from the companies you are interested in. Find out how they feel about the company and see if they can offer additional insights into the life inside the company. Keep in mind that some drivers are very negative about the industry and no matter how good their company actually is they’ll always have something to complain about. Try to talk to multiple drivers just to make sure you’re not getting misinformation.
Once you’ve gone through these steps it’s time to apply to your selected companies. Sitting down with the recruiter gives you a chance to ask any questions you may have about the company. It also lets you verify the information you have been gathering.
You can tell a lot about the company just by the atmosphere of the office. If you’re invited into a happy-go-lucky environment you can probably assume that life inside the company is pretty good. On the other hand, if there’s a line of disgruntled drivers waiting outside the dispatch office you may want to rethink your choice.
The thing of it is, there are good companies to drive for and there are not so good companies to drive for. Knowing the difference between the two is easy; knowing the difference between one good company and the next is where it gets tricky. Sometimes it comes down to a coin toss, but at least you’ve done your homework.
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